FR401 Deer Peak s(u)
I heard somebody remark once, that god put the Wet Mountain
Range in this place, so that man might have a better view
onto the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. There are many points
on top of the range (or plateau), where one can form an
opinion about this statement. The most obvious one is FR400
Gardner Road s(u)
. The approach to the FR401 Deer Peak
summit, crosses that point and then reaches a little higher.
This is more of a jeep trail summit, while most of the
Gardner Rd summit (with some exceptions on the east side) is
a smoother dirt road.
START-END WEST: jct Co69 - Centennial Ranch Rd.
2.(mile08.9,9500ft) profile turns left onto Garnder
3.(mile13.7,10780ft) FR400 Gardner Road s(u) (shp)
4.(mile14.2,10720ft) major intersection with Greenhorn
Mtn Rd. profile turns left onto FR401
5.(mile17.3,11520ft) TOP: FR401 Deer Peak s(u)
6.(mile25.0,8990ft) Ophir Creek Rd joins from right
and route continues downhill
7.(mile26.0,8800ft)START-END EAST: jct Co96 (Greenhorn
Hwy) - Ophir Creek Rd
From West. the profile follows the same
route as FR400 Gardner
Peak s(u). The washboard on the lower sections, while going
through the real estate area can be extreme - but at the same
time the light conditions during early morning can be the best
of all. More details about this section are on the FR400 s(u)
page. At the the top of FR400 two roads branch off. Each one
roughly folls the crest of the Wet Mountains in opposing
directions, at least for a while. Both options are uphill from
top: the bald ridge is Greenhorn
Mountain, the highest landform in the Wet Mountains.
bottom: approaching the top of FR401. During the
middle of the day the light has become much flatter.
The profile turns south and follows a jeep trail, starting
out as a regular dirt road but climbing steeply. It stays in
forest until it reaches a summit meadow close to a transmitter
facility. From here you can can see the single bare outcrop in
the Green Mountains, marking its southern end of the Green
Mountains, Cuerno Verde or Greenhorn Mtn. There is a way to
continue straight from here, but the profile remains on FR401,
turning right steeply uphill - a short walk can be refreshing
after all that rock and roll - and crests when passing near
towers of the transmission facility. The view from this meadow
stretches from Greenhorn Mtn, to the Spanish Peaks, and over the
southern end of the Sangre de Cristo Range. But all these peaks
are pretty far away and when there is no snow on them they are
bound to look a bit hazy by the time one arrives on top, even in
late September when the leaves are changing.
From East. (described downwards). Rocky steep stretches
alternate with smoother sections. Every once in a while the road
traverses a meadow and opens a view on tree covered smoothly
curving hills, and once onto the plains between here and Pueblo.
At the first intersection CR401 ends and only another option
continuing straight is signed. The better road crossing here is
not signed. My directional sense told me turn left, but the
profile takes the correct option which is right and downhill.
The road slowly becomes faster and continues to curve around, so
that it's easy to loose a sense of direction. The road finally
reaches hard top on Co165 between at the bottom between the Bigelow
Divide to the north and the Greenhill
Divide to the south.
Dayride with this point as highest summit
PARIALLY PAVED / UNPAVED
( < CR1A Cotopax(sh)
| Cordova Pass > )
FR401 Deer Peak Road s(u) , Wixson
Divide , Bigelow Divide ,
Hardscrabble Pass : Horn Creek trailhead > CR130 east
> CO69 south > up CR305 Centennial Ranch Rd > up CR400
Gardner Rd > FR400 Gardner Rd(shp) > FR401 south >
FR401 Deer Peak s(u) > down FR401 > down FR400 > Co65
north > Bigelow Divide > Wixson Divide > Mc Kenzie Jct
> Co96 west > Hardscrabble Pass > Westcliffe > CR160
Hermit Rd west > CR129 south > CR130 west back to starting
point : 77.7miles with 7007ft of climbing in 7:34hrs (VDO MC1.0
|FR401 Deer Peak s(u)
Highest Point: 11520ft
|jct Co69 - Centennial Ranch Rd.
|jct Co96 (Greenhorn Hwy) - Ophir Creek